Piano syllabuses 2023 & 2024

Key dates

  • 9 June 2022: Online publication of both Piano 2023 & 2024 syllabuses (Practical Grades and Performance Grades)
  • 9 June 2022: Print publication of Piano Exam Pieces (Initial Grade to Grade 8) ­– with or without download codes for audio recordings of all pieces for the grade. Print publication of Teaching Notes on Piano Exam Pieces. Publication of a selection of set pieces as digital sheet music downloads.
  • 1 January 2023: Piano 2023 & 2024 syllabuses come into effect

What’s new

  • Refreshed repertoire lists at all grades
    • 70% of the 2021 & 2022 repertoire retained (21 pieces per grade)
    • the contents of Piano Exam Pieces fully replaced (9 pieces per grade)
    • a further 9 new pieces added per grade
  • Greater choice of repertoire than before, with the lists extended to 13 pieces (39 pieces in total per grade) and with music by a more diverse range of composers featured

Validity of syllabuses

Piano 2023 & 2024 Practical and Performance syllabuses come into effect on 1 January 2023. This means that:

  • candidates can begin to present pieces from the new lists;
  • candidates can continue to present pieces from the 2021 & 2022 syllabus lists during the overlap period (see below).

For Practical Grades, the scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural-test requirements remain exactly the same as for the 2021 & 2022 syllabus.

Syllabus overlap

For candidates wishing to present pieces from the 2021 & 2022 syllabus lists, a one-year overlap period (up to 31 December 2023) applies in all countries. All three set pieces must be prepared from the same syllabus.

More information coming soon

Woodwind syllabuses from 2022

Key dates

  • 8 July 2021: Online publication of Woodwind syllabuses from 2022 (Practical Grades and Performance Grades)
  • 8 July 2021: Print publications available for Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone:
    • EXAM PIECES: Includes exam pieces (score & part), alongside download codes for the audio recordings.
      Flute & Clarinet, Grades 1-7 & Saxophone at Grades 1-5
    • EXAM PACKS: Includes exam pieces (score & part), scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, alongside download codes for the audio recordings. Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone at Grades 1-5
  • 1 January 2022: Woodwind syllabuses from 2022 come into effect

What’s new

  • Refreshed repertoire lists for all woodwind instruments at all grades
    • approximately 50% new repertoire, with some of the most popular pieces retained from the 2018–2021 syllabus
  • Duet option
    • included in Practical Grades for the first time – up to Grade 3
    • extended in Performance Grades at Grades 1–3
  • Revised list structure
    • lists defined by musical characteristics rather than accompanied/solo and period of composition
    • playing unaccompanied no longer a requirement, but remains an option
  • Greater flexibility for recorder players to present pieces on a different recorder

Syllabus validity

Woodwind syllabuses from 2022 come into effect on 1 January 2022. This means that:

  • candidates can begin to present pieces from the new lists;
  • candidates can continue to present pieces from the 2018–2021 syllabus lists during the overlap period (see below);
  • for Practical Grades, the scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural test requirements remain exactly the same as for the 2018–2021 syllabus.

Syllabus overlap

For candidates wishing to present pieces drawn from the 2018–2021 syllabus, a one-year overlap period (up to 31 December 2022) now applies to all countries – including the UK and Ireland. All three set pieces must be prepared from the same syllabus.

More information coming soon

Performance Grades – Qualification Specification (including syllabuses)

An updated Performance Grades Qualification Specification will be published in July 2021, including changes applicable to the syllabuses (Section 3) for all exam subjects.

These changes will apply to exams from 6 September 2021 (i.e. exams with a video submission deadline on or after that date). This revised Qualification Specification is being issued a year after we first launched Performance Grades and the changes are being made in order to:

  • accommodate the launch of Initial Grade exams (for Piano and Bowed Strings), and
  • clarify some information and exam requirements, and adjust others, particularly in response to feedback from customers.

Further detail of the changes will be published later. Candidates and teachers already preparing for an exam from September onwards using the current (3 December 2020) Qualification Specification/syllabus can continue to do so in confidence – no change being made will mean they have incorrectly prepared for any aspect of the exam.

The existing repertoire lists for each subject will remain unchanged. We will be publishing the Initial Grade repertoire lists for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass as part of the Performance Grades syllabus – these will be the same lists that are currently in use for Practical Grades. We will also be issuing new repertoire lists for all Woodwind subjects, applicable from 1 January 2022 – see the ‘Woodwind syllabuses from 2022’ section on this page for more information.

ARSM – Qualification Specification (syllabus)

An updated ARSM Qualification Specification will be published in July 2021 including minor changes applicable to all exam subjects. The changes are primarily to clarify existing information and exam requirements and will apply to exams from 6 September 2021 (for remotely-assessed exams, this will be for exams with a video submission deadline on or after that date).

Further detail of the changes will be published later. Candidates and teachers already preparing for an exam from September onwards using the current (September 2020) Qualification Specification can continue to do so in confidence – no change being made will mean they have incorrectly prepared for any aspect of the exam.

Practical Grades: Brass Syllabus from 2017

The current Brass syllabus (from 2017) is valid until further notice.

Brass candidates should refer to the 2017-2020 syllabus until at least 2022. New syllabuses (Practical and Performance) are being developed for all Brass subjects but release has been delayed due to COVID-19. Further updates will be published at www.abrsm.org/syllabusupdates when available.

Brass syllabus: Practical Grades

Brass syllabus: Performance Grades

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